Last year, around this time, I was nursing far too high expectations for a little pilot season pickup called Deception. This year I’m just really glad it’s been cancelled so that the actors involved can escape with some dignity intact. One can’t say the same about Community.
Yeah, it’s that time again. Most networks are at least 80% set with their 2013-2014 Fall/Winter lineups. For better worse you will be sitting through another season of potentially Harmon-less Community. As Abed might say, some stations just like to watch the world burn.
As Caitlin M. Boston let us know last month, comedian and podcaster W. Kamau Bell is about to make the jump to television with his upcoming show, Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell, which will debut on FX at 11 p.m. on Aug. 9
Well, if you’re a Racializen in New York City Thursday June 7, you can be there for the show’s first taping!
We’ve got ten (10) tickets to give away so, as they say on the radio, the first 10 readers (who are at least 18 years of age) to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org will get the hook-up. (Update: Wanted to add this in so we’re clear: the taping will be for the show’s promo, but Bell will also be giving a brief performance.)
When FX sent us the tickets for this contest, they let us know that Bell’s show will touch on “politics, culture, race, religion, the media and sex.” In other words, as Caitlin wrote, it doesn’t look like he’ll be pulling any more punches on TV than on the stage. So if you want a taste of Bell’s style before entering–and your workplace won’t mind a few curse words toward the end of this bit–here’s a quick look at him in action:
So last Thursday night, I was peacefully watching Wilfred. My dog, the reason I thought the promos were hysterical, was napping at my feet. Wilfred is an FX remake of an Australian comedy, about a suicidal man named Ryan (Elijah Wood) who prepares to kill himself in the first episode. After a failed attempt, Ryan finds himself helping out his next door neighbor Jenna (Fiona Gubelmann) by watching her dog Wilfred (Jason Gann). The set-up is fairly simple – it’s kind of like I Love You, Man, only one of them is in a dog suit.
I was just in the middle of wondering how a show with a dark, funny premise could end up as just another dudebro comedy when a line floated to my ears. Kristen (Dorian Brown), Ryan’s sister, a doctor, and the show’s resident shrew (because there’s always one in these kinds of comedies) is busy screaming at him about getting his life together. She launches in on another explanation of why her life sucks, but this time, she says:
You had a rough morning? Try prying twin boys out of a tight little Asian gal. She wasn’t Asian American, Ryan, she was REAL ASIAN!
Whenever I get around to writing about Archer, I’ll talk about the difference between writing a joke that involves race and writing a racist joke. But, in essence, this is the Kate Rigg rule:
When someone tells a joke about Asian people and there’s no actual joke – the joke is the Asian people. The joke is [racist-comic voice] the funny way they talkie-talkie! “They don’t use proper diction! Only verb and noun! Verb and noun!” I just heard a comic that I respect doing that fucking joke the other night. An Asian comic. And I was like, “Dude! Write a punch line or you’re just being racist!”
I apply this rule all over the place, as did Carmen back when she wrote about how to respond to a racist joke. The joke only works with the implicit acceptance of a certain stereotype. If the stereotype isn’t there to play on, the joke falls apart. (Hence Carmen’s advice to play dumb, and try to get the joke teller to explain exactly why that joke is funny.)
When will comedy writers, producers, and directors learn that throwaway racist jokes just aren’t funny?
by Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally published at Angry Asian Man
What the hell is up with all the Asian imagery in this promo for the upcoming sixth season of Nip/Tuck? If you’re not familiar with the show, it’s about a duo of plastic surgeons and the sometimes grotesque surgeries they perform.
Many thanks to Daniela, who spotted this and points out the “short black wigs, cheongsam-inspired red dresses, heavily made-up eyelids and chopsticks-in-hair who are sewing, assembly-line style, the ‘perfect body.'”
Basically, a super-sexualized Asian sweatshop. It all adds up. Most of the women in the promo aren’t even Asian — they’re just made to look like they are. The woman in white at the head of the table is certainly Asian.
Make no mistake — they’re definitely trying to evoke a stereotypical sweatshop, where the “China Doll” labor is submissive, identical and disposable. That’s racist! And tasteless, considering the thousands who toil away in actual sweatshops.
If you feel like letting the network know how you feel about this commercial, you can email FX at email@example.com (the generic contact listed on the website). Chances are, they could probably care less. But it’s a start.
Race, Culture, and Identity in a Colorstruck World